Paper Boats

I don’t know if this post will help anyone or not. I don’t even know if I am on target, but what follows is how I see and understand what I see happening as of late, with regard to the abortion issue. Hopefully it will help someone.

Bruce’s Parable of the Paper Boats

There was a man on the island of Whatever who had a paper boat that developed a tear in it when it was left in the water for any amount of time. The man tried to fix the tear in his paper boat but that tear or another tear kept coming back. What was the problem? The problem was that the boat was made of paper and paper doesn’t last very long, when exposed to water.

Other people on the island of Whatever who also had paper boats ran into similar problems. Sometimes the paper boat would not support a heavy weight because it would fold when subjected to a heavy weight. Was heavy weights the real problem? Partly perhaps, but in reality, it was a symptom of a bigger problem. Paper is not very strong and it cannot withstand heavy weights. The real problem is that the boat was made out of paper and paper is not a good support of heavy weights. Was the tear in the paper boat the problem? No, it was a symptom of a bigger problem and the bigger problem was the issue of constructing the boat out of paper, instead of a material that reacts well when exposed to water, like fibre glass or aluminum, as an example.

Some people on the island of Whatever had aluminum boats and did not encounter problems with the water and weight issue but more of the people on the island of Whatever had paper boats than those who had aluminum boats. The people who owned aluminum boats saw the real problem and thought they could fix the real problem by creating a law that took away the rights of all the inhabitants of the island of Whatever from owning a paper boat. So they managed to pass a law.

But that created another problem, the bigger number of people from the island of Whatever who owned paper boats did not like being told they could no longer use a paper boat. They didn’t see the real problem, they thought the problem was those holes that oftentimes appeared or too much weight. And they reacted strongly against being forced to follow the new law. And there was much dissent on the island of Whatever.

Fast forward to today.

Although abortion is acknowledged by some, to be a problem, like the holes that keep appearing in a paper boat, it is not the real problem, it is a symptom of a bigger problem. The bigger problem is that hearts that haven’t been changed are not going to see that abortion is problematic. What they will see is that they are being told they can no longer do what they used to be able to do. And because those who cannot see abortion as being problematic, are greater in number than those who do see abortion as a problem, especially when a law is managed to be passed, which takes away their former rights to obtain an abortion, they are not going to be pleased. No, pleasing people is NOT the objective, but don’t be surprised when it happens.

When a law is passed that takes away rights that others used to have, and those who got this law passed, are fewer in number that those who like the ability to have a choice, there will be considerable opposition. Abortion is not the root problem, not having a heart changed is. Maybe that is why God in His wisdom gave us the Great Commission. It was aimed at the heart, not the symptoms. Symptoms change after the heart changes, not the other way around. Somehow, in this particular decision, we seem to have forgotten that. And I acknowledge that abortion is hideous, but it is not the only hideous sin that is considered an abomination by God and we would do well to consider the others.

Imposed morality can sometimes be legislated by the few, for the many, but it will not change hearts and it will be opposed by the many. Imposed morality can also be legislated by the many, for the few, but once again, it will not change hearts that are opposed to it. It will cause resentment from the many, to the few, and the few, to the many. You may win the battle but lose the war and the battle you won will be turned to naught. Hearts are not changed by legislation, hearts are changed when someone is reborn into the Kingdom of God. Laws can restrict but they do not change the motives of the heart.

This may sound simplistic but legislation are man’s ways, and I acknowledge that they can indeed accomplish some good. But unless hearts are changed, the symptoms will keep coming back and we see an abundance of that happening today. And the root cause of all of the abominations that the Lord hates, is a heart that refuses to place itself under the authority and guidance of God. Until that issue is resolved, the symptoms will continually reappear and all we accomplish by focusing on the symptoms and ignoring the root cause, is to cause unnecessary resentment.

I do NOT support abortion (I was adopted), but I will not argue with anyone who does, unless specifically asked for my opinion, because abortion is a secondary issue. And quite frankly, there are a lot of secondary issues within our society today, including within the visible Christian Church, that requires addressing, not just abortion. And all of them are addressed through the Great Commission that Jesus specifically gave us.

Jesus told us that without Him, we could accomplish nothing (John 15:5) and for some reason, we simply don’t seem to grasp that.

For your consideration.

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!


  1. Hey Bruce, I applaud your willingness to discuss the issues even though I don’t quite see it exactly as you do. First of all, the Supreme Court didn’t write any new law, they simply revisited an opinion that many o us have found unfounded in either science or morality. Remember too that murder and bank robbery are two fairly agreed upon moral evils that every nation on earth has legislated against. Of course, the pro/life – pro/choice discussion is more complex, but some restrictions on abortion seem reasonable in defense of the lives being taken who have no voice on the Island of Whatever.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Pete, I understand about how the Supreme Court factored into this, was just trying to keep it simple. And I do agree that this is a complex decision, from many quarters. And having been personally adopted when just a few months old, I also strongly support the overturned Supreme Court judgement. Thank you Pete for your patience, I know this is an emotional subject. Blessings!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. The problem, of course, is that people need Christ, but if a segment of society believes something is murder, they should try to stop it. This will not keep Pro-Choice individuals from Christ if they seek to come to Him, nor does it hinder Pro-Lifers from sharing the Gospel with those who so sorely need it. Two different issues, and I don’t think your well-intended example hits the target. Thank, Bruce.


  3. I am happy that Roe vs Wade was overturned, for I believe this will save ‘some’ lives. However, I also know that most people who are determined to have abortions, will find a way. I knew of abortions happening, some self-induced, years before Roe vs Wade. Like you so eloquently explained in this post, abortions will not stop unless hearts are changed.

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  4. I’m glad Roe was overturned. I’m glad the abortion conversation is on the table again. At least people are thinking about the reality of abortion and what it actually means: taking a life. Now the states will have to decide where they are going to draw the line. I think this is a good thing. I agree with you that hearts must be changed. Maybe God will use this turn in events to make people think about their relationship with God. Blessings, Bruce!

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  5. Hi again, Bruce. I see you’re a fast typer with this expansion of your earlier comments.
    I became a Christian during the height of Jerry Falwell’s “Moral Majority” crusade. The evangelical church definitely took a wrong when it turned from evangelism to politics and culture battles. I believe the church also turned off many people to the Gospel when it closely aligned with Donald Trump and GOP politics and baseless conspiracy theories like the perplexing “there is no pandemic” statements from pulpits. So I do see your point about the church not getting wrapped around the axle over politics and culture battles. The genocide of 60 million babies is horrific and doesn’t “compare well” with other societal ills. I’m pleased with this decision in that there’s now at least a huge detour in the way of abortion supporters. The apostle Paul is our example. He spoke/wrote very openly about sin and its consequences so he could present the Good News! of salvation in Christ. Christians probably shouldn’t be screaming at pro-abortionists on opposite sides of a barricade. Yup, we should be focusing on sowing the Gospel in a winsome way. I have strong doubts whether the five justices who voted to overturn Roe vs. Wade are genuine Christians. Religious moralists need to be saved just like abortionist MDs. Lots of ramblings in my comments with no definitive path forward, but I do agree that the church needs to be ambassadors for Christ rather than deeply entrenched belligerents in the culture wars a la Falwell.

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    • Thanks, Tom. I know this “parable” is not perfect and I probably could have worded it better but I did want to post it today. There are indeed a lot of variables in play so it isn’t simple. Thanks for your patience with me. Blessings brother!

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  6. I think that when we quit valuing life in the womb it led to devaluing all life. How can our children care about life if we don’t care about theirs? Abortion sends a signal to kids that they are not valuable. I know this is a side problem that came from legalized abortion but it has affected our whole culture. I too am against the wholesale slaughter of babies in the womb!

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  7. Hi Bruce! I think that your basic point of all of this being a symptom of a bigger problem is perfect. Especially being a fairly new”er” Christian, I know that perspectives change when your heart changes. I understand most of the comments as well, but the simplicity of the parable was much appreciated by me. 😃

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  8. Well done, Bruce.
    I was thinking that another aspect of the abortion issue is that, when a woman becomes pregnant, the imaginations that she (or the couple) have of the outcome or ramifications of this pregnancy cannot compare to what God intends. We can have no idea of God’s intentions if we don’t allow Him to play them out. God creates life. That baby is there for a purpose. An abortion is a human-limited action that thinks only inside our selfish box, and limits God’s blessings.

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  9. Thank you, Bruce. I have many thoughts reaching back so many years with not enough time or space to share. Blessings to you — knowing our Father — created, and adopted twice. 🙂


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